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Tribute to Brownlees/by Matt Hamnett
A new £5m University of Leeds sports facility is to be named after its most successful alumni athletes, Olympic heroes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.
The Brownlee Centre sits alongside a new 1 mile (1.6km) cycle circuit – one of the longest in the country – at the University’s Bodington playing fields in north Leeds.
The unique centre, which opens in April, is the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training base and will provide the first permanent home for the world-beating Leeds Triathlon Centre.
Combining a strength and conditioning training suite, physiotherapy, medical and other support services with one of the longest cycle circuits in the country, this new world-class development will enhance facilities for both cycling and triathlon in the region.
Partnership funding from Sport England, UK Sport, British Cycling and British Triathlon is contributing £1million to the project, with the remaining funding provided by the University.
Alistair studied Sports Science and Physiology at Leeds and won gold in the triathlon competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
At last year’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games, all three of the men’s triathlon team were Leeds alumni, with Gordon Benson joining the medal-winning Brownlee brothers. The University is one of the UK’s leading sports institutions, with the Brownlees following in the footsteps of a number of Olympic champions.
The 6 metre-wide circuit will provide a traffic-free environment for cyclists of all ages and abilities – including University students, staff and the wider community – for recreation, coaching and competition.
Four of the six Team GB Rio games triathlon competitors – including the Brownlees’ fellow University of Leeds alumnus Gordon Benson – will be based at the new facilities.
Bodington Playing Fields are no stranger to elite athletes, having hosted numerous national standard cross country competitions. Its running routes are also used weekly by Leeds Triathlon Centre’s elite training squad, which includes the Brownlees. The site will also continue to be used for grass sports including football and rugby. The next phase of development will see three additional grass pitches, with work scheduled for completion in September 2017.
The University has invested over £25m in new sports facilities over the past 10 years and these improvements complement nearby Sports Park Weetwood, the University’s flagship 100-acre facility used by students and members of the community for hockey, football, rugby, cricket, lacrosse, American football and more.
Find ouit more about the development on our campus developments website.
If you have any questions about this story please contact Tilly Hall: email@example.com, 0113 343 7525.
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